One of the great things about booking through a travel agent was getting a nicely printed up travel itinerary with all of your transport and accommodation options detailed out. Well now you can create something even groovier – I assure you it makes travel agency print offs look ever so last century.
The one easy step, is that you have to join TripIt. It is completely free to join and very easy to sign up. There is a second step, although it is so easy I figured it didn’t really count as a step. Once you have recieved email confirmations of flights, accommodation and transport bookings, you forward the emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
TA DAH!!! Magic, super glossy itinerary created with almost zero effort on your part!!! How fabulous is that?
A good thing to bear in mind if you have several hundred email addresses *ahem* is to use the same one as the majority of your trip arrangements. If you get conformations sent to a different email address, forward them to the address you signed up with at TripIt and then forward on again to TripIt. Or you can add additional secondary email addresses to your TripIt account (do this BEFORE you forward the emails).
Then there are some cool tricks your wonder itinerary can perform.
- You can invite friends and rellies to view or contribute to trips
- You can create a little trip badge for your blog – scroll riiiiiiiiiiiiight down to the bottom of this page, no keep going, there – on the right hand side is my little TripIt badge. Cool huh? If you’re really observant, you’ll know it used to be a Dopplr one, but they snooze, they loose.
- If you need to, you can edit the details and / or add details manually
- It has maps – loads of maps!
- There are also links right on the itinerary for checking flight status, online check in, and stroke-of-genius seat recommendations which links you to the plane model in Seat Guru.
- Also right there in the itinerary are little weather forecasts – you can even choose Fahrenheit or Celsius for the display.
- You can of course print off or email your itinerary
- And Holy Calendar Integration Batman – it actually creates an ical subscription.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! There are several iPhone / iPod touch applications that integrate with TripIt! Yep, more choices than you can shake a stick at!
First up there is a free TripIt app that basically is a bookmark for the web based service. I’m not a big fan of these types of Apps. Probably a hang over from starting out with an iPod touch where you can only access web pages using free wi-fi, which in Australia would be… the comfort of your own home – so you might as well be using your computer anyway.
Secondly is Flight Track Pro. Now this looks very smooth and great, especially if you need little maps with pictures of where your plane is flying.
But the one I really, truly love and hence handed over dosh for, is TravelTracker with TripIt
This app imports all of your TripIt data including accommodation and transport. It keeps this data when you are offline (yay). It has links to check flight status. The phone numbers for contacts are directly clickable for those with iphones. It also has a separate weather component and a few travel preparation lists (they are quite basic but a nice touch anyway).
The only thing it is missing is the linking to Google maps for the addresses.
Completely fantastic – all without typing anything in on my iphone and only adding a few extra details on my computer.